Minister Valcourt announces education infrastructure partnership with four Manitoba First Nation communities
WINNIPEG, March 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, joined today with the Chiefs of Bunibonibee Cree Nation, God's Lake First Nation, Manto Sipi Cree Nation and Wasagamack First Nation to announce a partnership and supporting investments to construct or renovate on-reserve schools for the four northern Manitoba First Nations.
During his address, the Minister highlighted this unique partnership between the Government of Canada and the four Manitoba First Nations as the largest school infrastructure bundle to be undertaken by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. By centralizing project management and bundling procurement, the partnership will allow for more effective and efficient construction and renovation of schools such as allowing for a reduction to shipping and materials costs.
Our Government is focused on what matters most to Canadians – growing the economy and helping create jobs. This school project will ensure First Nation students have access to a quality education environment that allows them to get the skills they need to enter the labour market as well as support key infrastructure projects that lead to local employment opportunities.
- In Budget 2014, the Government committed $500 million over seven years beginning in 2015-2016 for a new Education Infrastructure Fund.
- Approximate cost and start of these projects will be determined only once the feasibility studies have been completed.
- For more information on the Government of Canada's investment in First Nations' school infrastructure, please visit the online Education Facilities Progress Report – April 2008 to March 2013.
"Our Government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term economic prosperity for all Canadian families. This partnership is a clear demonstration of that commitment and to helping to provide First Nation students with an environment where they can learn and acquire the skills needed to enter the labour market and be full participants in a strong Canadian economy."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"God's Lake First Nation is pleased that we are moving forward with this project that will help accommodate our High School students who currently have to leave the community to continue their education after grade 9. This is a good investment on the government and First Nation's part and will improve everything all around."
Chief Gilbert Andrews
God's Lake First Nation
"As Chief of Bunibonibee Cree Nation, I am very pleased to be part of a project that brings much needed educational facilities into our communities. It is definitely a good day when a project on paper becomes a reality. It is a great investment for our future that will pay dividends for many years to come. This truly shows a great commitment in partnership."
Chief Irvin Sinclair
Bunibonibee Cree Nation
"Wasagamack is thrilled about this project that will provide high school students with the necessary space and programming they rightly deserve and need in order to complete their high school education on Wasagamack First Nation. Currently Wasagamack has a student population of 610 squeezed into the main school, which was opened in 1976 and now only accommodates nursery to grade 7, with students from grade 8 to 12 attending classes in several portable classrooms located around the school."
Chief Sharon Mason
Wasagamack First Nation
Education Facilities Progress Reports
National First Nations Infrastructure Investment Plan
Canada's Economic Action Plan
Bunibonibee Cree Nation Community Profile
Keewatin Tribal Council website (Bunibonibee Cree Nation page)
God's Lake First Nation Community Profile
Keewatin Tribal Council website (God's Lake First Nation page)
Manto Sipi Cree Nation Community Profile
Manto Sipi Cree Nation website
Wasagamack First Nation Community Profile
Wasagamack First Nation website
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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada819-953-1160